Sunday, December 4, 2016

Krampus is Coming!

With every Yin, there comes a Yang. You can't appreciate the light if it doesn't come followed by the dark. And, you can't have St. Nicholas without....THE KRAMPUS!

Children throughout eastern Europe eagerly await December 6th, which is known as St. Nicholas' Day, to see if the kindly old St. Nick has filled their shoes with goodies and candies. But for the naughty kids, well....they're lucky if they're still AROUND on the morning of December 6th because the night before is KRAMPUSNACHT.

In Norse mythology, Krampus is the son of Hel, a goddess who resides over the location of Hel, where a portion of the dead go after death. Krampus' appearance also borrows heavily from other Pagan entities from various locales, resulting in a horrifying embodiment of all that is...Christmas? He comes during the night of December 5th----Krampusnacht----and to the mildly naughty children, he might whip them with his switch or even leave the kid's parents a switch so they can do the whipping. The super naughty kids, however, might get thrown into Krampus' sack of horrors and carried off into the night.

Over the past five years or so, Krampus has increasingly become more popular throughout the United States, and this year, Luke and I finally got to meet him and St. Nick!

Oddbird, A Gift Emporium, located in Charleston, WV had a special Krampus/St. Nick meet-and-greet on Saturday evening. When I saw it come up in my Facebook news feed, I knew we absolutely, positively had to go. We got there a few minutes early, so we took some time to look around the shop. I was super impressed! This was my first time at visiting Oddbird, and I was blown away by the unique selection of gifts, art, clothing, and household goods they offered. Everything was extremely reasonably priced, and all the staff were extremely sweet and helpful....including St. Nick and Krampus!

Since we were there a few minutes early, we just happened to be near the back of the store when St. Nick came out. Luke was thrilled, especially since this was his first meeting with Santa this season. St. Nick immediately came over to him and told him HE was the first KID he'd seen that year! Luke thought that was awesome and talked about it all evening, lol. He had a nice lil' chat with St. Nick and then out came Krampus to join us.

Luke was a little unsure of Krampus, but Krampus was very good to him, lol. He shook his hand and told Luke that he wasn't on his naughty list, so he had nothing to worry about. We did a little more shopping, finding lots of cool gifts for family and friends (and a Krampus ornament us!), and then met the Christmas-y duo out front for a photo.

I was very pleased with the whole experience, and am so glad we got to come out Saturday evening to support an awesome local business, partake in a few refreshments, and meet a very polite and well spoken demon. It was a great kick-off to the holiday season for us! A very special Thank You goes to the Oddbird Gift Emporium for hosting the event. Please check them out on Facebook and on their website, and if you're local to the Charleston, WV area, go check them out in person! They really do have some awesome stuff and you're guaranteed to find something for just about everyone on your list...including yourself!  Also, if you'd like to learn more about Krampus and Krampusnacht, NatGeo has a very informative article to check out HERE.

*Behave yourselves out there....because Krampus is coming Monday night!* 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Alien Humor

Being a paranormal investigator with a main focus on ghosts and hauntings, I tend to blog about those subjects. But, I'm interested in ALL areas of the paranormal and unexplained and one of the areas I tend to neglect is ufology/extraterrestrials. So, today's Friday Night Funny is dedicated to the alien, lol. I specifically chose today to post this because every time I eat too much and get a bellyache, I feel exactly like this is what is going to happen to me. I hope YOU and yours had a happy Thanksgiving and didn't eat too much! 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Morphic Resonance

Have you ever visited a place for the first time, yet surprisingly found your new surroundings so familiar that you could swear you've been there before? Have you met someone new that you felt like you've known forever? Have you taken up a skill or hobby with such ease that its almost like you've been doing it for years? If so, you may be experiencing what proponents of reincarnation call "Morphic Resonance."

In her book, Past Lives of the Rich and Famous, the controversial psychic, Sylvia Browne, defines Morphic Resonance as what happens when "the spirit mind finds itself in a place so profoundly familiar from a past life that it experiences almost total recall and infuses the conscious mind with that same, seemingly inexplicable sense of familiarity." It is a result of cell memory, and is not necessarily limited to geographical locations. A place, a person, or even a circumstance from a past life can lead to the infusion of the conscious mind with a sense of familiarity.

I'm sure at one point or another in our lives, whether or not we really believe in reincarnation or not, we've all experienced a similar feeling. I know several years ago when I visited the town of Grafton, WV for the first time, I instantaneously knew my way around without even needing to read the street signs. I knew where to find specific buildings, and what other buildings were used for. When visiting Charleston, S.C. for the first time, I lacked a real clear familiarity in regards to finding my way around....but I felt such a connection for the area and the locals, that I actually felt stabs of homesickness when we had to leave. For the week we were there, I felt comfortable and at home. I've also met many people throughout my life that I had an instant bond with...and a few who I knew from the first time meeting them that they were not good people.

The term Morphic Resonance isn't, however, a product of Sylvia Browne herself. It was actually coined by Rupert Sheldrake in his 1981 book, A New Science of Life. According to the Skeptic's Dictionary, Sheldrake uses the term to '"refer to what he thinks is "the basis of memory in nature...the idea of mysterious telepathy-type interconnections between organisms and the collective memories within species."' He further clarifies that "natural systems, such as termite colonies, or pigeons, or orchid plants, or insulin molecules, inherit a collective memory from all previous things of their kind."

There seem to be some stark contrasts between Browne's definition and Sheldrake's. Browne uses the term to explain how the memories from our past lives can leak through to our current incarnations. Sheldrake tends to take a more practical approach, albeit it still extremely controversial and unproven in the scientific community, by using morphic resonance to explain why living organisms act the way they do...why they seemingly are created with the collective knowledge of their species built in. If you're interested in learning more about Rupert Sheldrake's theories of morphic resonance, I've included an hour-long lecture on the subject below. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ghost Photo Analysis: Staircase Apparition

This photo was recently posted to a Facebook paranormal interest group to which I belong. The original poster did not post any accompanying information on the photo, and as of 16 hours after the original posting, had not returned to answer any questions or pose any type of clarification.

When I'm perusing Facebook groups, I tend not to focus too much on the ghost pictures submitted by others. Most often, its just not worth it, lol. That sounds harsh, but its true. Either there is just not enough information or photo clarity to give a good, accurate analysis....or the photo is a natural glitch. Sometimes, the photo is outright fraudulent. These I hate the most because I'm one of those who believe that people are inherently good. I don't think the majority of people posting ghost app photos and other fraudulent photos and/or information are doing so maliciously. Rather, I think people have a tendency to find something cool on the internet and want to share. Unfortunately, some are the victims of pranks by friends who realize their gullibility.

I tend to think this photo is just one of those, 'Hey, cool! Look what I found!' photos. When I first scrolled by and paused, what caught my attention was that I knew I had seen this image somewhere before. Further, while looking at the photo, it certainly didn't look like an image taken with a camera---it had that look of 'film,' like it was a still shot from a movie.  A simple reverse-image search later, and I had my answer.

This image IS a still shot, and it was probably taken directly from the documentary, The Best Ghost Cases Ever Caught on Tape, which aired as a Fox TV special in the early 2000s. This show specializes in taking film footage of alleged ghosts, and explaining or debunking them. While I highly recommend watching the whole thing, I want to bring your attention to the clip at hand. If you fast forward to 26:16, you'll see the clip in question....and the confession that it is the product of a student filmmaker! Oh, and what looks like a robot ghost is actually the mist pausing in front of the refrigerator, lol.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Theresa's Travels: Flatwoods, WV

On Tuesday, November 7th, I went with my mom and my sister to Fairmont, WV to spend time with my nephew! Ryan is a Freshman at Fairmont State University, and thanks to early voting, we were able  to take Tuesday to drive up there, take him out to lunch between classes, and get a peek at his dorm. We also met a few of his fraternity brothers, who I was surprised to find were a very nice, polite group of young men....despite the fact that they apparently like dressing up as bananas and roaming the downtown district in their spare time, lol. A shout out for the wonderful restaurant we ate at: Muriale's in Fairmont was an awesome Italian place with great service and great food. If you take advantage of the lunch specials, it's especially affordable.

Anyway, as usual, I had to consult my own blog to see if there were any good ghost stories to explore while on campus. For some strange reason, despite the town of Fairmont being a pretty historical place, there aren't really any ghost stories of any substance that I found. I thought for sure the campus would be filled with the typical college urban legends, but nope. NADA. So, if you know of any Fairmont ghost stories or haunted buildings around the city, please please please comment below or send 'em to me at !

The trip wasn't a complete bust, though, paranormally speaking. Since we had to go through Flatwoods to return home to Putnam County, we decided to stop. My sister wanted to look around the Fiesta Outlet, and I saw a discount bookstore in the same shopping center. While I was walking over to the bookstore, I passed the Braxton County CVB office. I had heard about the display, and wasn't disappointed! One little area of the office was completely devoted to the Braxton County/Flatwoods Monster, complete with models, memorabilia, and two notebooks filled with documents and articles about the 1952 sighting.

There are a ton of great resources out there to consult for more information on the Braxton County Monster, but in short: In September of 1952, a group of kids playing football witnessed what appeared to be some sort of aircraft fly overhead and crash on a nearby mountain. They rushed to the home of one of the boys, where his mother and a neighbor accompanied the group up a mountain road to look for the crash site. What they found was a strange and creepy THING, that was later theorized to have been some sort of being in a spacesuit or smaller craft.

Seeing the display and knowing that over the past few years the city has really embraced its monster heritage was pretty awesome. However, we weren't done. The county also maintains five Monster Chairs in various locations throughout the area. While we were apparently quite close to two of the five, we went a tad out of our way to the Gassaway Dairy Queen and visited the first chair to be installed.

It was a fun and interesting way to end the day, and we already have plans to go back soon and track down ALL FIVE chairs! The Braxton County/Flatwoods Monster is an intriguing and important case in Ufology, and I'm proud that my little state is its home. Here's a documentary if you'd like to know more: Braxton County/Flatwoods Monster

Friday, October 28, 2016

Book Review for Ghost Hunting Kentucky

Title: Ghost Hunting Kentucky
Author: Patti Starr
Published: 2010 by Clerisy Press
Amazon Purchase Information

Ghost Hunting Kentucky, by the well-known author and ghost hunter, Patti Starr, is part of the 'America's Haunted Road Trip' group of books. Patti writes about 30 haunted places throughout the entire state of Kentucky that she has investigated---and that you most likely can as well!

I received this book in late September. My boyfriend travels throughout Eastern Kentucky and to Lexington quite a bit for work, and he's always on the lookout for local paranormal books for me. He happened across a signed copy of Ghost Hunting Kentucky and brought it home! Within a day or two, I had already read it, lol.

Patti Starr is somewhat of an old school ghost hunter, and while I don't necessarily agree wholeheartedly with all her paranormal ideology, I do love her and respect her work. Plus, she's visited some really interesting places throughout Kentucky and elsewhere! This was a really quick and fun read, featuring a great mix of stories from locations I'm quite familiar with and some I had never heard anything about. There's also a good mix of history, personal experiences, and investigation reports.

The book is broken down into geographical sections, with each haunted location given its own chapter. Most haunted locations featured in the book come from the central part of the state, but there's a great sampling from all over, including Frankfort's Buffalo Trace Distillery, Mammoth Cave, Ashland's Paramount Arts Center, Paducah's C.C. Cohen Restaurant, and Lexington's Kentucky Theater. Black and white photographs accompany each chapter, some taken during the investigations and believed to be of a paranormal nature.

Overall, this was a great collection of regional ghost stories, spiced up a tad by the fact that these were places that were actually investigated for paranormal activity. The best part, nearly all these locations are available for private and/or public investigation events, or at the very least are open to the public during normal business hours. I had a great time reading through the experiences of not only Patti, but the many, many employees, guests, and other visitors to these locations. It gave it quite a personal touch. I definitely recommend this book if YOU'RE looking for a quick, fun read on haunted places throughout Kentucky, but you don't have to be from Kentucky to appreciate these spooky tales.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ScareFest 2016 Recap

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I made the drive to Lexington, Ky to attend the tri-state's largest paranormal and horror convention----ScareFest! The festival/convention is hosted by ghost hunter and author Patti Starr, and features tons of vendors, paranormal lectures, celebrity panels, photo ops, autograph signings, costume contests/cosplay, and much, much more! 2016 marked a landmark event with ScareFest kicking off the first National Ghost Hunting Day by coordinating what may have been the world's largest ghost hunt.

I always have a really great time at ScareFest, although admittedly, this year's lineup of guests and celebrities just didn't seem as strong as it usually is. That may have been a blessing, though....the lines for celebrity meet and greets were actually quite short and for each lecture we attended, we were able to walk right in and get a good seat.

Since the lines were so short, I went ahead and got autographs from the Ghost Hunters, Jason Hawes and Steve Gonsalves. Tango was there, and I had my picture taken with him as well with the other two, but for some reason, his autograph was an extra $10 and I just didn't bother with it, lol. The woman taking the money for the autographs already thought that I hadn't paid for my other autographs, so I didn't want to confuse her any more than she already was, lol. I had met Grant before, but this was my first time meeting the other guys. They weren't rude or anything, but they weren't especially chatty or accommodating, either.

As for the lectures, we chose to go all paranormal this year. There were a few celebrity/movie panels, but nothing we were dying to see, so we went with:

1. Kyl T. Cobb: The Facts Behind the Exorcist---Kyl gave an impressive and really interesting account of the true story that inspired what many claim is the scariest movie of all time. Being a historical researcher myself, I found it very...satisfying...seeing how a little detective work resulted in finding the actual 'possessed' boy and the facts surrounding his case. The lecture included a brief discussion on demonic possession in general, with comparisons to demons in western vs. eastern cultures. The whole thing was very well done; Cobb was a great public speaker, has plenty of credentials, and shared some really interesting facts that I had never heard before.

2. Steve Kulls: Sasquatch: The Truth You've Been Told vs. Actuality---This was another great presentation on fact vs. fiction. The discussion included many aspects of Sasquatch lore, including a vocabulary lesson on where the terms 'Sasquatch' and 'Bigfoot' originated, but the main focus seemed to be on the Patterson-Gimlin footage. Digitally enhanced and stabilized footage was presented, as well as information about how the alleged confessions of a hoax didn't actually happen the way the media portrayed. Oddly enough, I had already seen most of the enhanced footage presented in a class I took last year, but it was still fun to watch.

3. Shannon Byers: How Not to be a Ghost Hunter---Known as the Paranormal Genealogist, Shannon Byers is one of my favorite researchers of the paranormal and we have eerily similar philosophies, lol. Seriously, almost every single thing she presented in this How Not to be a Ghost Hunter presentation was something that I've blogged about, have said in the past, or what I currently practice and preach, lol. So, unfortunately, I really didn't LEARN a whole lot, but it was very validating that others out there take the same approach as I do. Shannon had given a presentation on Friday, I believe, about the truth behind Pearl Bryan and the hauntings of Bobby Mackey's, and I'm REALLY disappointed that I missed that one---I've been preaching for years about all the misinformation that is spread about that place and our less-than-stellar investigation experience there back in 2007.

In addition to checking out the speakers, we spent plenty of time out in the vendors' area. I bought a stack of used books on the paranormal, a Ghostbusters t-shirt for my son, some novelty soap items, and even some items for mine and Aaron's Halloween costumes! It was fun walking around and seeing the way everyone was dressed...and there were plenty of people dressed as clowns. With the creepy clown panic going on throughout the tri-state area and down south, I thought that was pretty brave of them! We also got to enjoy a fairly good lunch in the Rupp food court. The best part was waiting in line for our Chinese food, and seeing Tom Savini waiting for HIS Chinese food, just like any other non-celebrity.

Overall, this wasn't the best year for ScareFest in terms of attendance or level of celebrity guests, but I still had a great time, and I'm glad that we concentrated on the paranormal lectures this time. As a paranormal investigator, I feel that it is REALLY important to attend educational events such as this in order to not only learn some new skills and learn what is currently happening in the field, but to also network with others. A paranormal investigator can never have too many resources to draw from, and ScareFest definitely provides an opportunity to meet and learn from some of the best in the field.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Meme: Victorian Graves

Ugh!!!!!!!  I am so sick of seeing this posted on different paranormal-themed Facebook pages/groups. I'm even more concerned when I see scores of people who actually BELIEVE that this metal cage is actually intended to trap a reanimated corpse. Our Victorian ancestors were not stupid. What they were afraid of was much more terrifying than zombies and vampires.  These metal cages were not intended to keep the ghouls from getting OUT....they were intended to keep the monsters from getting IN.

The photo above depicts a device known as a mortsafe. It was used in protection against grave robbers. Back in Victorian England, a couple of things were happening....

Before that time, medical students could only dissect and otherwise use cadavers 'donated' by criminals who had been sentenced to death. And, just about any offense could lead to hanging, lol. However, during the mid to late 1800s, social justice reform was leading to less offenses being punishable by death, and thus creating a huge shortage of corpses available to medical students. Medical science was making great strides throughout this time period, so a good supply of fresh corpses was EXTREMELY important. To help meet the demand, 'ressurectionists' would steal the bodies of the newly buried and then sell them to medical schools, generally with no questions asked.

As the practice became more and more of a threat, mortsafes and other devices were invented as a way to safeguard the bodies against theft.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Happy October!

It's here! October is finally here! It's going to be a busy month, but I'm going to try my best to bring you plenty of fresh, original content as we lead into MY favorite holiday, Halloween! So, what can you expect to see over at Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State Facebook?

1. Name that Horror Movie Quiz: Each day in October, I'll be posting a picture from a different horror and/or Halloween movie. Test your knowledge and let me know if YOU know what movie the photo is from!

2. Daily Question: I want to hear from you! Each day throughout the month, I'll be posting a question for you to answer about various paranormal and Halloween related topics. Let your opinion be heard, and share your personal experiences. There are no wrong answers to these interactive questions, and you don't have to be an 'expert' in the paranormal field to answer them.

3. Late Night Frights: Are you a night owl? I know I am! Every night after midnight, I'll be posting about a different haunted location. Consider it a bedtime story!

4. Throwback Thursdays: Since its almost Halloween, every Thursday I'll be posting a vintage photo from my favorite holiday!

Today, I'll be at the annual ScareFest horror and paranormal convention in Lexington, Kentucky, but I'll see you tomorrow for plenty more spooky fun!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Spooky YouTube Subscriptions, Volume 2

On a wet, rainy day back in July, I decided to share a few of my favorite paranormal-related YouTube channels with you guys. Well, its September and since its another wet, rainy day here in the tri-state, I thought this would be a perfect time to share a few more channels from my own list of favorites! I know I've said it before, but I REALLY, REALLY love YouTube, lol. It is such a great resource for paranormal investigators. You can access lectures, audio books, documentaries, investigation footage, and all sorts of other educational content for FREE in one easy to use website. However, there's also a lot of junk to sift through, which is why I thought it would be fun to share some of the gems I've found.

1. Michelle Belanger: You probably know Michelle from her work on Ryan Buell's show, Paranormal State. However, Michelle has quite a body of work on her own, separate from the affiliation with The Paranormal Research Society, especially in the realm of energy vampirism. She has some great videos on a variety of subjects, including Ouija Boards, hauntings, and of course, vampires. 

2. MUFON: The Mutual UFO Network has a great channel featuring case profiles, investigator profiles, and even full lectures from conferences and symposiums. If you are interested in ufology, this is a channel you HAVE to bookmark. 

3. One Candle Society: This group formed in 2014 and uploads educational content on paranormal topics and specific hauntings, as well as investigation footage. There isn't a ton of material on the channel yet, but what is there is of specific interest to those in the tri-state region! 

4. Open Mind Productions: Another channel for those studying ufology, Open Minds uploads videos on current UFO sightings, historical documentation, interviews, and much more.

5. Paranormal Quest: This group of investigators seeks to find the answers to questions few dare to even ask...and most of their videos feature investigations, interviews, and historical background work on haunted locations in West Virginia and surrounding areas! 

6. Paranormal Warehouse: A channel featuring videos on just about everything and anything paranormal! There are different types of videos of varying lengths, so you're sure to find something you're both interested in and have time to listen to/watch! 

And there you have it---six more spooky YouTube channels to explore this weekend! If for some reason you don't see anything that is of particular interest to you, or you've already binge-watched all the available content and want more, never fear! You can always go back and check out my Spooky YouTube Subscriptions, Volume 1 blog...and of course, keep an eye out for Volume 3, due out on another wet and rainy boring day! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Caffeine and Paranormal Investigation

September 29th is National Coffee Day! I'm actually NOT a coffee drinker myself, but I know many of you out there are...especially you paranormal investigators and ghost hunters! Often we have to put in a full day's work at a traditional job, take care of family and home...and THEN spend all night on high alert at a potentially haunted location. Coffee is an excellent source of caffeine, a stimulant that wards off drowsiness and makes you feel more alert. Being more alert is definitely useful during a paranormal investigation, but too much caffeine can be a very, very bad thing.

A 2011 study conducted by researchers at Australia's La Trobe University actually found evidence that too much caffeine can cause auditory hallucinations. In other words, the same stuff that makes you feel alert and awake can also cause you to hear things that aren't really there. Obviously, hearing things during a paranormal investigation that aren't really there isn't exactly conducive to a successful, scientific-based endeavor.

But just how much caffeine does one have to consume to start hearing things? Well, that amount is slightly different for everyone, but the study notes that even five cups a day led to a significant increase in the test subject having the auditory hallucinations. I don't know about you, but I've definitely seen people consume that much and more. When you factor in energy drinks and highly caffeinated sodas as well, its pretty easy for one person to reach that threshold.

However, one doesn't have to completely give up on coffee on other caffeinated drinks before or during an investigation. Like with many other things, moderation is key. Too much caffeine, in addition to potentially causing auditory hallucinations, can also cause one to feel jittery, anxious, have a racing heart beat, and since its a diuretic, cause one to have to use the restroom often (and any investigator knows that clean, working restrooms aren't always readily available during a ghost hunt!).  

Just know your own body and what it can and cannot handle. If you regularly consume large amounts of caffeine, you can probably handle it better than someone who normally would have a small caffeine intake, but downs shot after shot of energy drink right before heading out into the field. Also, instead of relying solely on caffeine, try a few different approaches to maximize alertness and ward off sleepiness. If you know an investigation is coming up, try to get sufficient rest beforehand. Take snack breaks featuring healthy choices of proteins and carbs. Stay hydrated. And, most importantly, know when to say no. If you don't feel alert or in top shape, it may be time to head on home. 

More Info:

Friday, September 23, 2016

Behold the Sassquatch

I haven't done a Friday Night Funny for awhile and when I saw this picture on Facebook recently, I knew I wanted to share it, lol. I love this lil' guy. He's definitely sassy! Although, his feet are a little on the small side for a Sasquatch....

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Review: Lighthouse Ghosts

Title: Lighthouse Ghosts---13 Bona fide apparitions standing watch over America's shores
Authors: Norma Elizabeth and Bruce Roberts
Published: 1999 by Crane Hill Publishers
Amazon Purchase Information

First off, I have to give a big 'THANK YOU!' to a wonderful reader named Louise who gifted me this book, which I immediately read, even if it has taken me awhile to get a review out, lol. Louise, thank you so much! I really appreciate your kindness and generosity; this title is now quite at home within my paranormal library.

And, its a welcomed addition for good reason---who doesn't love a haunted lighthouse tale! I swear, I think just about every single lighthouse in the nation has at least one ghost story attached to it. The authors include a wonderful introduction explaining the historical dedication that lighthouse keepers had for their occupation, and the dangers associated with such work, both huge factors in why many believe the majority of these structures continue to have that haunted reputation today.

While there are many haunted lighthouses out there, this book focuses on thirteen of the strongest, most documented tales, including the lighthouse at St. Augustine, Florida and at Heceta Head, Oregon, which I posted about last year. Both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts are represented, as well as several selections from the Great Lakes. Each chapter focuses on a different lighthouse, its history, its hauntings, and some brief information on when and how to visit the lighthouse property for yourself. Since the book was published in 1999, there are VERY few websites included for more information, but each chapter does have a beautiful black and white photograph of the lighthouse in question, which makes up for it!

I really enjoyed this book! It's a relatively short book at only 119 pages, but its packed with legends, recent (well, recent as of 1999) experiences, and history. There's just enough of history and hauntings to give the reader a nice overview without being too tedious and straying too far off topic. Combined with the length, the large font makes this a really quick read, and also a perfect read for a younger paranormal enthusiast...or someone like me with a rather short attention span. I pretty much read this one straight through one evening, but the format is perfect for those who just want a quick story or two at a time.

With such a huge geographical range covered, despite the rather niche topic of lighthouses only, I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a good ghost story, or who loves the unique history of our nation's coastal safety. Pick up a copy today and tell me what YOU think of it, or head over to Theresa's Haunted History's Facebook and let me know about YOUR favorite haunted lighthouse!

Fun Fact: Did you know that landlocked West Virginia has its own lighthouse? It's not a real, operational lighthouse, but a recycled wind turbine. You can visit and tour the structure at Summersville Lake!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Happy Birthday, Luke!

Luke and Mothman's Butt
Today, my sweet little Luke turns 7 years old.  He was conceived in a haunted hotel, born in a haunted hospital, has lived in a haunted house, and has been dragged around the tri-state to visit various haunted locations. His due date was supposed to be on Halloween, but being eager about getting an earlier start, he decided to come in September, the same weekend as the annual Mothman Festival. He's led a spookier life than many adult paranormal enthusiast I know, yet he has already told me that he will NOT be following in mommy's investigative footsteps! Maybe he'll change his mind as he gets older, but if not, I'll still be proud of him, no matter what.

In honor of Luke's special day, here's a quick sampling of some birthday superstitions!

*In Germany, it is considered both bad luck and poor manners to tell someone 'Happy Birthday' before the day of their actual birthday. The birthday should be celebrated ON the birthday or to be safe, even AFTER the date of birth.

*Children born on Halloween are said to have the gift of second-sight. They can foretell the future, communicate with the spirit world, and even ward off the bad ghosties.

*In Argentina, the seventh son born into a family is said to be a Lobison, and will turn into a werewolf. Since so many seventh sons were being abandoned (or worse) in the early 1900s, it became a tradition that all seventh sons would receive the godfathership of the Argentinian president, and be presented with a gold medal upon baptism.

*Those born on Christmas are said to be protected for life against drowning or hanging, leading many Christmas babies to take on the life of a sailor (or in some cases, a pirate, lol). Christmas babies have tons of superstitions involving their birth, including an ability to talk to animals, turn into 'ghosts' on Christmas Day/Eve, and generally enjoy a life of luck, to name a few.

*A southern US tradition states that if you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake, you'll be married within a year!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mothman Festival 2016 Recap

My Mothman Coasters were a big hit!
What a wild ride this weekend turned out to be! On Saturday and Sunday, my boyfriend and I made the drive into Pt. Pleasant, WV to represent Theresa's Haunted History at the annual Mothman Festival. With this year being the 50th anniversary of the original Mothman sightings in Pt. Pleasant as well as the festival's 15th year, I knew it was going to be a big one---I just had no idea HOW big!

An estimated 10,000 visitors poured through the streets of the small town, many there to see the cast of Mountain Monsters. Wait times to see the AIMS crew went upwards of 6+ hours, but every single person I talked to said the wait was worth every minute. The AIMS crew stayed until after 10pm that night, making sure that every last one of their fans got some personalized attention.

As for me, I didn't get to do much looking around on Saturday because I was so busy manning my own table! I had an excellent time chatting with those who recognized the blog, some familiar faces, and some totally new to my work. I also sold a TON of handcrafted items!  To rent a vendor's table wasn't exactly cheap, so even though my main focus was to draw attention to my website, I thought I'd sell a few things to help recuperate my costs. I ended up covering the entire cost of my table and then some, selling items priced from 25 cents to $5, lol. I actually sold out of ALL my Mothman themed merchandise the first day, and had to go home and make more!

I was spotted by a Man in Black (aka, Junebug Fugitt of the Appalachian UFO Research Society)

Sunday was a little less successful. The day started out super rainy and there were only brief, intermittent periods of cloudy sunshine. Many vendors chose not to return on Sunday, or either came late or left early. Since attendance was a little lower that day, I got a chance to look around a little. I bought some used books and chatted a little with some of the other vendors. I was absolutely fan-girled out when Susan Shepphard of Parkersburg Ghost Tours came over and talked to me! Seriously, if you haven't checked these tours out, you NEED to this year.

Unfortunately, I missed my favorite part of the festival---seeing the top-notch speakers who present a variety of paranormal topics at the State Theater throughout the weekend. I have said this hundreds of times, and I can't say it enough: there is NO other festival in the country where you are going to see the level of speakers in one place...and for FREE! Rosemary Guiley, Loren Coleman, Nick Redfern and Ken Gerhard are just a FEW of the presenters who gave talks. I was also very lucky to have a table beside another presenter, Cameron Jones. Cameron is a researcher specializing in the paranormal/cryptozoology/ufology and gave a talk about UFOs in the Pt. Pleasant area. Based out of Ohio, Cameron was a really nice guy, and I enjoyed getting to know him, as well as the author on my other side, Roger W. Russell, who wrote a book about local ghost tales. I would have totally bought a copy, if I hadn't already did so the year before, lol!

All in all, it was a super successful weekend, and I can't thank Jeff Wamsley, Ashley Wamsley-Watts, and the many, many others who worked so hard to make this festival a reality. I know it got super crazy at times with so many people in attendance, but everyone did a great job, and I kept hearing how nice and polite everyone was treated. We've already made plans to be back next year!

I didn't get a chance to take many photos, but please check out this short video shot by my boyfriend, Aaron!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gasparilla's Headless Princess

Jose Gaspar
Arrgh! September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! My accent is a little off and my wench dress is at the I think I'll just celebrate with some pirate ghost stories! The legends and lore of America's pirates are steeped with superstition and supernatural elements, and many of our most well-known bearded bullies of the sea are said to still be hanging around in spirit form. Whether they are still guarding their buried treasure, seeking to exact revenge on those who did them wrong, or simply being punished for a life of misdeeds, these pirate ghosts and the ghosts of their hapless victims make up a huge chunk of our country's ghost lore.

While pirate ghosts can be found in many coastal areas, (and apparently in Ohio, as well!), this particular tale comes from Gasparilla Island in Florida, part of a chain of Gulf Coast barrier islands. For almost 200 years, visitors to the island, which for over a century has been home to the Boca Grande Lighthouse, have claimed to see what appears to be a headless woman roaming the beaches.

Like most pirate ghost tales, this story also seems to be steeped more in folklore than in history, with no real historical evidence to back up the claims or even prove that the main characters even existed. So then who is this strange, headless apparition? As the legends go, the famed Spanish pirate Jose Gaspar, better known as Gasparilla, used the island as his home base of operations throughout the late 18th century and into the early 19th century. He is even said to have buried treasure somewhere on the island near where the lighthouse now stands. Unfortunately, material treasure wasn't the only thing Gaspar sought to make his own---he also had a thing for collecting beautiful women, which he held on a nearby island now known as Captiva Island.

One of the women he captured was allegedly a Spanish princess known as Josefa. Josefa was a great beauty, and Gasparilla wanted nothing more than to make her his own. However, the more he attempted to win her over, the harder she spurned him, until finally one day, she spat in his face. In a fit of rage, Gasparilla grabbed his sword from his side and Josefa's head off. Distraught over killing his beloved Josefa, Gasparilla took her body to his own island to bury it.  However, legend states that he only buried her BODY. He apparently kept her head with him until his own death in the 1820s.

Since then, the headless body of the Spanish princess has been spotted on the beaches of Gasparilla Island, looking for her missing head. Some say Gasparilla himself has also been witnessed wandering the beaches. Is he looking for that treasure he buried---or is he looking for his lost love, Josefa, who continues to spurn him even in death?

If you visit the island, don't be too discouraged if you don't see the poor Spanish princess or the love-sick pirate. Just make sure you check out the old lighthouse, which has plenty of ghost stories of its own!

Source: Lighthouse Ghosts, by Norma Elizabeth and Bruce Roberts

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dayton's Amber Rose Restaurant

Photo from TripAdvisor
In early August, my family and I took a vacation to the Cincinnati area of Ohio. Since we had half a day between switching from our regular hotel to the Great Wolf Lodge, we decided to take a small detour north to visit the Air Force Museum in Dayton. That worked out perfectly, because I had recently heard about the Amber Rose Restaurant and its haunted history! We decided to stop in for an early lunch before hitting the museum.

The Amber Rose is a beautiful, quaint restaurant in the heart of Old North Dayton. Since becoming a restaurant in 1990, it has specialized in Eastern European cuisine, as well as local favorites. I wasn't feeling great the day of our visit, but my potato soup and club sandwich were absolutely mouthwatering. Our waitress was the sweetest woman ever, and the prices were quite reasonable. It was a clean, friendly, and inviting place to spend the lunch hour, but you couldn't help but pick up on a century's worth of history in the building...a history that just might include a resident ghost.

The building that houses the Amber Rose was built around 1910-1912 by Polish immigrant, Sigmund Ksiezopolski. 'Sig' and his wife, Emma, raised what I can gather from census records as five daughters and a son in the upstairs living quarters of what was then Sig's General Store and deli. Several of the daughters never married, and lived at home throughout their adult lives while helping out in the general store below. As a prominent immigrant family in the area, the home also served as a sort of community center and social club for the local Polish population.

Sig's General Store and Deli remained in operation and family owned through the 1980s before being purchased around 1989 by a woman of Lithuanian descent, Elinor Sluzas. Unfortunately, before Elinor could open her restaurant, fire heavily damaged the building, causing part of it to be rebuilt. But, all would work out as the repairs were completed and Elinor's Amber Rose opened for business in 1990.

Almost immediately upon opening the restaurant, Elinor noticed that something was slightly amiss. Her employees claimed that upon leaving the restaurant at night, they could see what appeared to be a young girl with long black hair and a white gown staring out the attic window. Staff and guests would also report dishes breaking for no apparent reason and the sounds of music, especially polka, emanating from an unseen place, heard often near the restrooms on the first floor. Slamming doors, mysterious balls of blue light, lights that turn on and off on their own, and other electrical disturbances are just a few of the spooky things that plague the Amber Rose staff.

However, one of the spookiest things to have occurred was a full bodied apparition sighted by one of the cooks. He claims that an apparition appeared directly in front of him, lifted up her ruffled skirt slightly, and then walked away. What is weird is that surveillance camera footage taken at the same time clearly shows an anomalous light bounce through the kitchen. Is it the ghost? Maybe, or maybe not...but who IS the ghost said to be haunting the Amber Rose?

In Chris Woodyard's book, Haunted Ohio III, Elinor relates an encounter that may shed some light on the situation. She ran into Rose Losko, one of the daughters of Sig Ksiezopolski, at the local supermarket and told her about the employees seeing the dark haired girl in the attic window. Rose told her that it must be "Chickee," a nickname for the youngest daughter of the family. Chickee had never married, and thus, spent her life living above the old general store and working there daily her entire life.

What is strange is that all the census records and other family documents I've found state that ROSE was the youngest daughter in the family, lol. Some websites, however, claim that Chickee is actually Genevieve, who was the middle daughter. It is true that Genevieve never married and lived her life working for the family business. She passed away on October 15, 1983 at the age of 73 and is buried in the nearby Calvary Cemetery with her parents.

Elinor has since retired from the restaurant business, but the current management keeps her original recipes. It seems like they've also held on to Chickee, as well as adding potential male ghost named 'Richard.' The restaurant hosts different paranormal events and has been the object of many paranormal investigations over the years. Come for the unique and delicious food, but stay for the chance to meet Miss Chickee, who hasn't quite let go of the family business yet.

Amber Rose Website
Video Proof: Amber Rose Restaurant is Haunted ! (Dayton's Most Metro)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review for Ghost Stories of Venice

Title---Ghost Stories of Venice: From Historic Spanish Point to Englewood
Author---Kim Cool
Published by Historic Venice Press (2002)
Amazon Purchase Information

I recently returned from a vacation to Cincinnati, Ohio. Usually when I visit another state, I like to pick up a book on that region's ghost stories. But, an impromptu stop at the Half Price Books store near our hotel resulted in the purchase of ANOTHER region's local legends---Venice, Florida. My paranormal library is already filled with titles from the Sunshine State, courtesy of my sister who always brings me home a lil' surprise from her vacations, but at $4, I couldn't just leave this book behind. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with that decision.

As the author discusses, Venice, Florida really isn't known for being haunted. The book gives a pretty good history of the town, which in the grand scheme of things, is actually quite 'new' as a modern city. Of course there is some Native American history there, and a smattering of information on early settlers and explorers, but the town itself really didn't get its start until the 20th century, when city plans were laid out as part of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. But, we students of ghost lore know that just because a place isn't 'old,' doesn't mean it cannot be haunted!

Venice suffers from the same ailment that many cities have---many people just aren't willing to discuss their ghost stories with people. But, as the author discovers, a little digging can result in other leads, culminating with a growing treasure trove of information. Within the book's 112 pages, the author manages to convince the local citizenry to share quite a number of spooky incidents from Venice and nearby locales. A few of the places featured are the Hermitage House, a residential area known as Venice Gardens, and the San Marco Hotel.

Granted, most of the ghost stories are pretty tame, and many are just personal experiences without a whole lot of substance to back them up, but they're entertaining and offer an enlightening glimpse of the unique history of Venice. For the most part, the book is pretty well written, although at times there are awkward repeats of information and the organization seems a little jumbled. However, there are some great photos, lots of interesting history, and a taste of ghost lore from a previously untapped area. If you plan on visiting this area of Florida any time soon, or simply love to read about ghost stories from different regions, this book should be a welcomed addition to your own paranormal library.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Monday Meme: Paranormal Experts

"Reading one hour per day in your chosen field will make you an international expert in 7 years." -Source

Every time I see this image come up, I wince a little internally. It's not that I don't get what the creator is going for--I totally understand. The paranormal field is a field with few absolutes or constants. One cannot be an expert or a professional in a field that specializes in subject matter that by very definition cannot be proven to even exist. And, as such, there can be no real governing bodies regulating and licensing paranormal investigators/ghost hunters. Aside from a few schools left that offer parapsychology degrees, one cannot obtain an accredited degree in chasing ghosts.


And that's a very big but....whether or not its intentional, this particular image represents to me personally much of what is wrong with the paranormal investigation field. We are never going to take this study beyond the fringe sciences with a mindset like this. This field will never be taken seriously until we acknowledge that 'expert' and 'professional' ARE words that are extremely applicable in this field!

The study of the paranormal is a broad subject, and even a more specific subset of that topic, such as afterlife study or afterlife communications (ie, ghost hunting), requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Researchers and investigators need to have a good working knowledge of topics such as history, photography, and of course, ALL of the sciences. These are all fields in which there ARE experts and there ARE professionals. When someone asks me about what type of field they should study in college to prepare for a 'career' in the paranormal, I always encourage them to study whatever it is they love---because just about any field you can study can be an asset to paranormal investigation. And, with a proper education, excellent experience, and being well-read, you CAN be an expert and you CAN be a professional in these areas.

Realistically, though, not everyone can be an expert in their chosen field and NO ONE can be an expert in every sub-field that makes up the paranormal investigation field. That's why its important to know how to network. For example, if you don't feel like your photography skills are up to par, find an expert in that field to examine any anomalous photos you might have. Just make sure to check out their credentials, fully. Your cousin who bought a fancy DSLR camera and takes pictures on the weekends is NOT a photography expert. He might be knowledgeable and even well read. He may even be able to help you out. But, without certain education and experience, he probably isn't an expert. Just keep that in mind before making any outrageous claims.

Taking it a step further, this image perpetuates the belief that paranormal research should never go beyond the fringe, and that I don't agree with. There is this widespread acceptance right now that anyone can investigate paranormal claims and be involved in paranormal research. I totally disagree---just cruising around the web, I see so many examples of people who absolutely have no business being in this field. These people do more harm than good to the field, spreading poor, incorrect or misleading information and partaking in investigations where they are more likely to just scare the crap out of their client than to provide any insight or answers. We don't allow just anyone to practice why should we allow just anyone to enter a private residence and try to communicate with the dead?

Well, I guess the answer is probably because what we do isn't considered a science, lol. But, within my lifetime, I'd like to see that changed. I'd like to see stricter guidelines and governing bodies in charge of paranormal investigators. I'd like to see increased educational standards and accredited places of learning. I'd like to see researchers and investigators with a healthy dose of common sense being properly trained and presenting themselves in a manner fitting a professional. Maybe then, we can finally do away with graphics like this one. We probably won't have as many paranormal researchers and investigators as we do now, but the idea of quality over quantity has always been MY mantra.  Happy Haunting!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Book Review: Raising the Dead

Title: Raising the Dead: A Doctor Encounters the Miraculous
Author: Chauncey W. Crandall IV, MD
Published: 2010 by FaithWords
Amazon Purchase Information

I was hesitant to even review this book, because it is my own belief system, not the actual writing, that has most heavily influenced my thoughts and feelings. And, I have no one to blame but myself. When I found this book at Goodwill for only $1, I saw the title and the subtitle and didn't bother reading the synopsis. I just assumed that it would be more from a paranormal perspective, rather than a supernatural one. Just a quick warning: if you are NOT a Christian, there's a good chance you will find yourself somewhere between being offended by this book, or simply finding it and its author laughably frustrating. I'm right in the middle...but without further ado:

Raising the Dead is a memoir of sorts, chronicling a Florida cardiologist's journey into the world of faith healing, the power of prayer, and divine intervention. After his own son is diagnosed with leukemia, the doctor and his wife do everything possible to get God on their side. Assisting a Mexican missionary, weekly flights across country to meet with the best doctors, and even a little pandering to the world's most well known televangelists---nothing is spared in the fight to find a cure. Too bad most of us poor folk don't have the funds to take last minute flights, buy and rent several homes at once, and convince famous nuns and other religious celebrities to meet with us personally.

Plunging head first into all this prayer and divine healing, the good doctor starts doing a little laying of the hands and praying over people at revivals himself. He feels he's so good at this, that he plays around with the idea of abandoning being a doctor and doing this full time. God tells him he gave him his off-shore medical degree for a reason and that he's in the perfect spot to save those who would normally not be saved through other means. So, he starts praying for and with his clients until the story culminates with him saving the life of a heart attack patient who had been declared dead for over half an hour.

Aside from the overtly radical Christian ideals, such as the devil being let in through an African fertility statue and watching Peter Pan, I found parts of this book to be absolutely appalling. There are so many statements, NON-religious statements, that this doctor makes that would lead me to NEVER put myself or someone I loved under his care. For starters, his "Yale education" is not exactly what it appears. After being rejected several times for medical school, Dr. Crandall ends up going down to a program in Granada, and only doing some of his clinicals at Yale, basically after (for the second time) playing the "we white English boys gotta stick together card." He also discusses how burdensome it is for him to be on-call for his hospital's emergency room, and doesn't even bother to hurry anymore when getting a code blue, taking his time and hoping that things are resolved by the time he gets there. Oh, and let's not forget about the time while serving with a missionary group that he had to be begged and coerced after refusing to administer aid to a fellow missionary who was involved in an accident.

I was also confused as to why he felt the need to point out how he liked to minister in a fancy suit, yet sit among the "dirty, smelly, cripples" in the back. Why feel the need to distance yourself, to create that barrier, yet claim to tear that same barrier down? To me, that sounds like he was trying to raise himself up as superior in their eyes, make himself god-like, which even as an atheist, I know is spoken against in the Ten Commandments.

I honestly wanted to really like this book, and in all fairness, the story itself is not a bad one. It was a quick, easy read that WILL leave you feeling SOMETHING. I don't disbelieve in the power of prayer and divine healing, but its a topic that I want to learn more about from a scientific perspective. However, even by trying to put my preconceived notions aside and look at things objectively, the over-the-top radicalized Christianity and the cocky, pompous doctor just turned my stomach. That's why I only gave it two stars. But, that's just THIS heathen's opinion. The book has raving reviews on Goodreads, with many people giving it at least a 4 star rating. If the topic is of interest to you, give it a look and let me know what YOU thought of it!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Monday Night Debate: Crossing Over?

This week's Monday Night Debate Question dealt with the idea of whether or not it should be a paranormal investigator/ghost hunter's duty to help an alleged entity 'cross over,' or otherwise remove that entity from a property.  Here are my thoughts on that touchy subject:

Many investigation groups, as part of their services, DO offer to 'remove' an entity or cleanse/bless the property. As this is an unregulated field with no real set rules, if that works for them, that's fine with me. We don't all have to do things the same way and we don't always have to agree. However, I personally do not think these services should be offered and my group does not promise them. The basic reason is that we cannot guarantee that a removal or cleansing will have any effect, and in some cases, it actually seems to make things WORSE. Let's take a closer look...

I have a few reasons I feel that way I do about this subject and the first is simply this---at this point in time, we cannot prove that ghosts, or what we perceive as ghosts, exist. We can't confidently measure or classify these suspected entities and we sure as hell cannot even begin to understand how they operate the way they do. Until we can answer these questions and know exactly what it is we're dealing with, we can't ethically say we can make it go away, never to come back.

Secondly, let's say that it is possible to remove an entity or to cleanse/bless a location. I'm actually all for doing ritualistic cleansing and banishing rituals as part of investigation after care, but such events are so deeply personal and rooted in faith that I feel the investigator should only help the client choose which method they most agree with, and facilitate the ritual. In no circumstance should the investigator be the one to take the lead.  Why? These types of rituals are mentally powerful. In order for a ritual to 'work,' the client must BELIEVE it will work. They need to choose a method that works harmoniously with their own beliefs and own it. Taking an active role in the process is very empowering and shows the entity that the client (and not some stranger that comes onto the property, only to leave again) is the one in charge.

Thirdly, even cleansings and removals that are deemed by those who practice such as being successful, don't always last. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that many times, clients will begin to miss their ghost or spirit. Excessive thinking and talking about that entity might be enough to invite them, or activity back in. There also tends to be certain behaviors that people are guilty of that seemingly attract paranormal activity. Just because one entity is 'removed' doesn't mean that the continuation of such behavior (things like drug abuse, domestic violence, etc.) won't bring in something else. And, if you're dealing with just a simple cleansing, cleansings are really only meant to clear out negative energy....not remove entities. Just like the dirt and dust in your home, it'll build up and you'll have to maintain it on a regular basis.

And lastly, let's look at things from another perspective. Should we make an entity leave a location and cross over? Again, I think that's fine if there's someone with mediumistic abilities that might facilitate a crossing over if that's what the entity wants...but who are we to demand they do so? Despite what some people think, we DON'T have all the answers. Maybe that entity is still here because it has a mission or unfinished business. Our interference could delay or stunt that entities spiritual growth and development. Or, what if what is on the other side actually is worse than what is here?

Instead of worrying about these types of issues, my preferred methodology when it comes to investigation aftercare is educating the client and helping them with the tools they need to feel comfortable in their own homes or places of business. In an overwhelming majority of cases, its is entirely possible to coexist peacefully with those on the other side, and aside from documenting potential evidence of those beings, that is my goal as an investigator.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Monday Meme: Pokemon Go Vs. Ghost Hunting

Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you've heard all about Pokemon Go!, the new app that allows you to relive your childhood fantasies of becoming a Pokemon Master. The app takes users all over in search of PokeStops, gyms, and rare Pokemon. And, I gotta say....I love it!

Not everyone does, however. There have already been plenty of news stories about people getting hurt and breaking numerous laws in quest of the ultimate Pokemon capture. And then, there's the memes like this one above. Actually, this is a rather nice meme in comparison to some of the REALLY condescending memes made and shared by people who not only avoid the game, but feel superior to anyone who does play.

I think this particular image is rather interesting though...because I do both. And, as I found out this weekend, you can do both ALMOST at the same time and at the same place!

On Friday evening, HPIR attended the premier of the new Ghost Busters movie at Marquee Cinemas in Pullman Plaza. We were part of a promotional meet and greet for the film's opening, and had a wonderful time meeting other groups and talking to the public. Marquee Cinemas is also a PokeStop, so every five minutes or so, those with the app could reap the benefit of collecting some additional balls and items. We even caught a few Pokemon!

After the premier a few of us weren't quite ready to go home we did some impromptu ghost exploration at a popular cemetery in the area rumored to be haunted. We stayed at the cemetery less than 2 hours and encountered multiple cars and hoards of roaming walkers, all in search of Pokemon. And, for good reason. This cemetery had 20+ PokeStops within its boundaries. Seriously, I had never seen so many people in one cemetery at the same time, not even for a burial.

It was a fun experience, but it wasn't a very scientific one in terms of being able to accurately document potential paranormal activity. I like to think of the whole thing as a social experiment, though...and as hands-on learning experience. If you also enjoy Pokemon Go AND ghost hunting, here are a few things to take into consideration:

*It's loud. I did a quick EVP session at one of the legendary tombstones in the cemetery. Not only is the audio tainted with my own, 'I caught another Eevee!' commentary, but I also picked up the voices of OTHER Pokemon players who were flocking to the area because of a lure that was set off. Oh, and the traffic...picked up traffic noises, too, lol. Photographic data was tainted as well. In a few of my pictures, you could clearly see the glow of a stranger's cell phone, which could easily be mistaken for something anomalous.

*When a Pokemon shows up, its enough to set off sensitive equipment, such as a K-II. In fact, most smart phone notifications and updates will sett off equipment, which is why during a formal paranormal investigation, we would never actually have our phones out and turned on.

*And speaking of having phones out and turned on, it is rather difficult to observe and concentrate on potential paranormal stuff when you're more excited about the CP of the 50th Weedle you've seen that night. It's also hard to observe and concentrate when there are so many other people around you.

*Not everyone is on-board with the idea of hunting Pokemon in cemeteries and similar places. Some believe it is very disrespectful, and a few places, Arlington National Cemetery in particular, have put a stop to such activities. If you are in a cemetery for ANY REASON, especially ghost hunting or playing Pokemon, please remember to be respectful. If requested to leave, do so quietly, and be aware of any local laws or ordinances that may affect what you're doing.

*Speaking of laws and ordinances, most WV cemeteries, whether posted or not, close at dusk. The cemetery we visited is a county owned location that is popular among walkers and joggers at all hours, so I think they are a little more lax when it comes to enforcing that particular piece of WV code. However, please keep in mind that local law enforcement might not be as forgiving in smaller or more rural cemeteries. Again, if you are asked to leave, do so IMMEDIATELY without fuss, and if there are NO TRESPASSING signs or if the entrances are gated, do not attempt to enter the area.

*Keep safety in mind. You should never ghost hunt alone and you should never Pokemon Go alone, either. Be aware of your surroundings and the other people who might be around. There are already reports of being getting hurt and/or being mugged/attacked while out playing. Let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back, and always bring a friend along. It's more fun that way!

*In summation, I don't necessarily recommend playing Pokemon Go AND ghost hunting at the same time...and I sure don't recommend playing the game during any formal investigation. There are lots of great Pokemon Stops at or near places with a haunted reputation, but its probably best to keep the two interests separate from each other. It's also in your best interest to remember a few key points: use common sense, be respectful at all times, and be aware of your surroundings. I like to hunt ghosts, but I'm not ready to become one yet, and I'm certainly not ready to investigate any Pokemon Go related deaths!  Be careful out there and have fun!

*Do you have a Pokemon Go story that relates to the paranormal? Have an encounter with a ghost, a cryptid, or an alien craft while out trying to 'catch 'em all?' I want to hear from you! Join me over on Facebook to tell your story!*

Friday, July 8, 2016

Animal Facts--Paranormal Edition

Did you know that the Southern Crested Screamer screams because it sees ghosts?  Me either...but thanks to comedian, Obvious Plant (otherwise known as Jeff Wysaski ), visitors to the Los Angeles Zoo were recently enlightened of that fact. They also learned about a cheating flamingo, meerkats with the ability to telepathically control electronics, and the TRUE identity of our nation's first president.

The signs, posted throughout the zoo as a joke, quickly went viral...with a little help of Jeff, himself. That's a good thing, though. Now we can ALL get a lil' more educated on why owls love the theme from Friends, what would happen if you give 76 ducklings trombones, and other important pieces of data! For a collection of these important images, check out the Facebook page linked above, or go to THIS ARTICLE.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Spooky YouTube Subscriptions, Volume 1

Hey, everyone! It's a yucky rainy day here in my part of West Virginia...a day perfect for sitting around the house watching spooky videos.  So, today I thought I would discuss where I find a lot of the spooky paranormal lectures, documentaries, podcasts, and other short videos that I love to watch and share with you all.

If you're familiar with my blog and/or my Facebook page, you know I often stress two things: 1. Education in the paranormal field; and 2. FREE or cheap resources. That makes YouTube a perfect site for paranormal investigators and enthusiasts. There are so many awesome videos out there for us. You can find documentaries and television shows on just about any paranormal topic you can think of. You can see how other teams engage in the investigation process. You can analyze potential evidence. And, my favorite have access to lectures and conferences that time, cost, or distance might keep you from physically attending.

It would be impossible to cover all the great YouTube channels that provide this information, free of cost to anyone with internet access, but here's a few channels that I love and subscribe to. As usual, check me out over on Facebook to let me know what channels YOU would recommend to those in the paranormal community!

1. Appalachian UFO Research Society--A look at UFO footage and case summaries from the Appalachian region.

2. ASSAP Conference Films--Conference footage from various events hosted by the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomenon.

3. Captain Disillusion--Funny and educational, Captain Disillusion debunks viral videos, many deemed paranormal, that are just too good to be true.

4. ghosting12--This is the channel for a paranormal investigation team based in Ohio. Lots of history of the places they investigate, plus footage from investigations.

5. Haunted Road Media--Anything and everything paranormal, including new, original content posted every Tuesday.

6. Kenneth Biddle--Kenneth Biddle, of I Am Kenny Biddle fame, critically examines and offers a healthy dose of logic and common sense towards some of the paranormal community's more incredulous claims.

Like I said, it would be impossible to share EVERY awesome channel here with you, but here are six great channels to get you started. Again, hop on over to my Facebook page to let me know which channel you enjoy the most, and share some recommendations of your own! They just might show up in Spooky YouTube Subscriptions, Volume 2...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Monday Night Debate: Clients Present During an Investigation

Yesterday, I posted a Monday Night Debate Question on my Theresa's Haunted History Facebook page

"When investigating a location, especially a private residence, do you feel that it is more beneficial or more harmful to have the clients be on-site during the investigation? Do you ever let the clients participate in the investigation process? How do you handle it?"

Please note that these are just my own thoughts, and don't necessarily reflect the views of all members of HPIR or other paranormal investigators and/or teams. Also keep in mind that each and every investigation is different. Each one has a different set of variables, a different set of challenges, and a different client with different needs. Each investigation needs to be custom-tailored to produce the best outcome possible for all involved.  With's how I'd answer my OWN question!

So, as stated above, no two investigations are ever the same. What might work well in one case, might not work in another. But, it is my personal opinion that while doing a residential or business location, its always a good idea to have at least one client present during the investigation for liability reasons. Having someone on site helps guard against potential claims of theft and/or vandalism. Plus, most people just aren't comfortable with letting a group of strangers into their property un-chaperoned for any length of time. 

In situations such as this, we usually provide a 'safe zone' for the client---a place where they can wait in privacy and comfort and where we won't be actively investigating. Another great place for this person is at our base of operations. During an investigation, we always have at least one person at base, monitoring the cameras, keeping time, and generally managing the investigation operations. The client can sit with our investigator, watch what is going on without getting in the way, and ask plenty of questions about the investigation process.  Sometimes, we have a more curious client who wishes to actively investigate along with us. Generally, this is not a problem, and often, can be a really good thing.

For starters, I think it really empowers a person to be able to actively take part in the investigation process and attempted communication. We can tell them about what we do and what conclusions WE have, but if they are involved in the process hands-on, they're much more likely to have a deeper understanding of what's going on. It also makes a much greater impact for the client to address their concerns personally to the suspected entity, and tell them personally that certain behaviors need to stop. It is THEIR property; they need to take charge. As an added bonus, I think we as investigators can sometimes get better results when the client is involved---if there is an intelligent haunt at play, they are more likely to interact with a person they feel comfortable with than with a bunch of strangers barging in. 

Again, in most cases, having the client and a few extra people is usually no big deal. However, there are times when the client tends to treat the investigation less as a scientific quest for answers and more like a party. We've had several investigations where the client has literally invited dozens of friends, family, neighbors, etc. to observe (or participate in) the investigation. This is NOT an ideal situation in any case. A large number of people will cause audio and video contamination and simply be in the way. We have since made it standard practice to let the clients know that only essential persons should be present during the investigation.

Now, there are circumstances where it might be practical or even ideal for the client to NOT be on site during the investigation. In these cases, it is important that the client be met with at the site before the investigation. All necessary paperwork needs to be signed, and a walk-through conducted with the client. If the client then chooses to leave the property for the duration of the investigation, the investigators need to double-check that they have a reliable phone number where the client can be reached if an issue arises. Upon returning, another walk-through needs to be completed with the client to ensure that everything is in place and secure.

This set-up happens a lot at locations that are more openly accessible to the public, where security isn't necessarily as big an issue. However, there are times when it may be necessary for a client to leave the premises during a residential or small-business investigation. We've had a few cases where pre-investigation interviews seem to suggest that one person in particular is the focal point, or even catalyst, for the alleged paranormal activity. If that situation arises, it is ideal to observe the location while that person is on-site, and then compare results when that person leaves the property. 

One last consideration---I personally recommend that very young children be removed from the investigation site if feasible. If they are witness to the paranormal activity, its fine to interview them (in the presence of and with permission from a guardian) beforehand, but if they are too young, they might not really understand the investigation process and become frightened by it. But, that's up to the personal discretion of the investigation team and the client. Again, I cannot stress enough that no two investigations are the same and the ideal situation will vary greatly from case to case. Just remember to stay flexible, think on your feet, and employ a little common sense---those things will help you make each investigation, no matter what challenges arise, a valuable learning experience.